Justice Department sides with lower court, says Obamacare should end

Trump Administration Asks Court To Totally Repeal Obamacare

"The Republican Party will soon be known as the party of health care, you watch", Trump said, as the DOJ seeks to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act.

Nearly immediately the decision was appealed by a group of pro-ACA attorneys general led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and the case is now at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

The Trump administration would not defend the law in court so a coalition of 21 Democratic states led by California stepped in.

Now that position has changed.

"The Department of Justice has determined that the district court's judgment should be affirmed", The Justice Department wrote in Tuesday's memo. That means the administration is now formally supporting elimination of the entire ACA. The Justice Department also determined that the president had not obstructed justice, though the special counsel did not reach a conclusion in the matter. At the time, the administration argued that the community rating rule and the guaranteed issue requirement - protections for people with pre-existing conditions - could not be defended but the rest of the law could stand. Just last week, he lashed out at the late Sen. He has continually scapegoated John McCain for his part in rejecting an attempt to overhaul health care, even doing so after the revered senator died a year ago.

An analysis by Bloomberg late past year claimed that more than 20 million Americans have gained health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, either through the private health insurance exchanges set up by the law or through the expansion of Medicaid.

House Democrats are reportedly livid and are calling the move "unconscionable".

Baker also writes that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) must be "dancing in the streets" over the DOJ's latest lawsuit, as the Democratic Party won back the House of Representatives during the 2018 midterm elections in large part by campaigning on the Republicans' failed efforts to undermine protections for patients with preexisting conditions.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly promised to make health care better for all Americans, especially those with pre-existing conditions.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer blasted the move in comments on the Senate floor Tuesday morning.

The Trump administration is going to court to fight to dismantle the Affordable Care Act entirely.

Lawyers who have been following the case call the administration's actions more than unusual. It's rare for the Justice Department to decline to defend a federal law, but President Donald Trump has long unsuccessfully sought to repeal the 2010 health care statute. The Act is now part of the plumbing of the health-care system.

"This is an expansive package of proposals that would make ACA coverage more affordable and reduce the number of people uninsured, but it is not a replacement for the far-reaching plans for universal coverage like Medicare for all", Larry Levitt, senior vice president for health reform at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, told HuffPost. If the decision is upheld, it could significantly disrupt the United States health care system.

By all appearances, the Trump administration is taking a political position for political purposes, ignoring the strongest legal arguments in the process.

Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service.

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